Sketching At The Canadian Aviation And Space Museum

20141201_AirMuseum_smWhen I was in science I used to visit the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum regularly.  It wasn’t because I was in science but rather because I’m an airplane fanatic airplanes and I worked at a research lab that was only a 90-minute drive to the museum.

I mention this because I’ve been sketching for three years and until Dec 01, 2014, I had never drawn a single airplane, in spite of my passion for them.  Why?  Cuz I can’t get excited about drawing from photos and there isn’t much airplane activity in Quebec City.

But now that my daughter is living in Ottawa, I have an excuse to go there so I finally got to sketch at this museum.  It’s a museum of significant size… airplanes are big and they have dozens of them under their roofs.  The main building (photo) is quite large and there’s an equal-sized building just to the right of the photo.  Both are packed to the gills with airplanes.  It’s a wonderful place, at least I think so.  Besides, if you’re old like me you can get in for $10 and they let you sketch to your hearts content.

I showed up shortly after opening time – at 10:30 and I quickly found a spot and started sketching.  I was in ‘detail’ mode that day, which meant I was concentrating hard on proper shape and proportion as, well, you know – airplanes are just supposed to be drawn “right”, don’tcha think?  You would if you were an airplane fanatic like I am.  Anyways, I used a pencil to draw the large shapes and then moved to my Pilot Falcon filled with DeAtramentis Black.  I was working in a Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7) sketchbook – my favorite working surface.

Curtiss Seagull

Curtiss Seagull (in Stillman & Birn Alpha 10×7 sketchbook, Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis Black ink)

I spent about one and a half hours getting the ink done and then took a break to have some coffee and relax.  While I was in the restaurant I added the color (Daniel Smith) to the sketch.  I was pretty pleased with the results but also a bit fatigued so I kicked back, enjoyed the coffee, which was no longer hot, and then spent a few minutes wandering around the museum.

It was almost 12:30 by the time I decided to draw this T-33.  It’s always been a favorite and I could sit in an out of the way place and draw.  I needed to get on the road back to Quebec City by 1:30 so I quickly laid out some shapes and guidelines and went to work with my pen.  By 1:30 I had created this sketch and decided I’d better add color when I got home so I snapped a couple photos for reference.

T33 sketch with inspiration

T33 sketch with inspiration

I’m really bad about adding color to sketches and have a lot of them that ‘I’ll color it later’ never happened.  This was, almost, one of those sketches as I forgot all about it until I started to do this blog post.  Here’s the sketch with some color added.  I can’t wait to return to that museum.  Did I mention that I like airplanes (grin)?

T-33 (Stillman & Birn Alpha 10x7, Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis Black ink)

T-33 (Stillman & Birn Alpha 10×7, Pilot Falcon, DeAtramentis Black ink)

5 thoughts on “Sketching At The Canadian Aviation And Space Museum

  1. Hmm and we have the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum less than an hour away in Hamilton.
    I think I should add it to the ‘Winter Sketching Locations”
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    I particularly liked the way you have the T33 jutting out of the ‘frame’ very effective


    • The Hamilton museum is more military-oriented than I like (I’m a sucker for airplanes from the beginnings of aviation and Canadian bushplanes) but absolutely that museum (all museums) would be a great place to sketch. Wish I could go with you (grin). I suspect I’ll make another trip to Ottawa before winter is over.

      Cheers — Larry

    • Thanks for stopping by Michael. Glad you like my airplanes 🙂 I hope you and the rest of the Stillman & Birn gang have a great holiday season and a profitable 2015.

      Cheers — Larry

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